Getting back into the swing of things

The last time I wrote on here, I discussed my stupidly fast recovery after the PGH marathon.  Well, it was not as fast as anticipated. I noticed that my legs had recovered well and aerobically I was feeling decent.  However, there was something that was not quite right.  I was severely lacking any motivation to get back to training, which I assumed was normal, but my energy levels were extremely low.  I was sleeping 8-10 hours a day and still struggling with my energy and even dragging myself out of bed to work and train was becoming increasingly difficult. I decided that my best course of action was to get my blood tested for any abnormalities. I did hop in a 10k race, the Sarnia Bridge Race, which was a pretty lacklustre result.

Early on with 2:17 marathoner Matt Fecht
Grinding up the long hill across the border

The course was interesting as it started in Port Huron, Michigan before crossing the border and finished in Sarnia. I have made many a trips across this border with a car but having the opportunity to run across was awesome.  The rest of the course was very flat, with the exception the 2 kilometre long uphill across the bridge. I only had a few workouts under my belt post marathon so expectations were relatively low. Immediately I noticed my legs had no speed in them and sub 5′ mile pace seemed not possible on the day.  I ran with 2:17 marathoner and 3 time race champ, Matt Fecht, for the first 3k before he pulled away from me on the hill. My pace slowed before passing through 5k in a pedestrian 16:19. When the race flattened out again, the pace picked back up but I just never managed to make up the gap before crossing the line in 31:52 for second. I was happy with the 15:33 second half, but I wish I could have ran faster for that first half. Overall it was a fun race that I thoroughly enjoyed and will have to be back next year.  It was only on the Monday after the race when I got the call about my blood work.  I had developed an iron deficiency.

The iron deficiency pretty much summed up my next few weeks. I was planning on doing Waterfront 10k, but unfortunately had to withdraw and focus on my health.  In the end, I took 5 days off and began taking an iron supplement before easing back into the training. I started with a week of all easy mileage in the 85 mile range before hitting 86 miles the next week and hopping in my first workout, which was not the best.  The first one back is always rough, which I anticipated.  It was an easy 4′ tempo, 8′ tempo, 4′ tempo off 2′ jogs.  I was brutally slow for the first 4′ but managed to roll 5:05/mile for the 8′ and sub 5:00 for the last 4′ and felt good.  Overall it was not incredible but that happens.

The next week was back up to 95 miles and after taking the iron supplements for 4 weeks, I finally started to feel more like myself again.  I did an easy 20′ tempo at 5:13/ mile average which felt crazy relaxed as well as getting back to over 2 hours on a 17.6 mile run.  I was supposed to race a small 5k road race just for fun but those plans fell through.  Instead, I headed out to the track with the intentions of spiking up and attempting to run a fast 5k.  The goal going in was 14:50-15:10 if I felt good.  To be completely honest, I blew my expectations out of the water. I had my pacer on the bike with my watch on so it was all off of effort with no knowledge of the splits.  The pace was spicy for the first 3k, around 8:33, before struggling to hold on for 14:31.2.  I wish I had my watch on as their was no attempt to kick for that 14:29 but I can’t complain about running that time off very little fitness. It is definitely an indicator that those 140 mile weeks are starting to pay off a bit. It also is incredible how much a difference having regular iron levels make!

5k time trial

So, what is next?  The next race is the Durham Quarter Marathon, which I raced last year.  I will be back with a vengeance after taking 2nd last year by a small amount.  I went out hard in 15:24 for the first 5k before the heat hit hard and I gradually slowed down in the last few kilometres. The goal for this year is to win, with the time being irrelevant. I’d rather run a minute slower than last year and win as opposed to run a minute faster for 2nd again.  After that, I don’t have anything crazy planned. Just some smaller local stuff, probably a 5k and a 10k in August.  In terms of the marathon, I am still not 100% sure where the next one will be but I currently have it narrowed down to two races. I am going to stay quiet about the options right now, but I am excited!  The build will start soon and I am excited to get back to those big mileage weeks!

Keep on the grind,

Seth

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